Peshawar: Policeman, FC soldier killed in militant attack
PESHAWAR: Two security personnel were killed and five others sustained injuries when around 100 militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and sophisticated machineguns stormed a checkpoint in Sarband near the provincial metropolis in the early hours Wednesday.
Militants also blew up two electricity pylons in Sarband, suspending power supply to most of Peshawar and surrounding towns. Heavy contingents of police rushed to the joint post of the police and Frontier Constabulary and the exchange of fire continued for over three hours before the attackers fled towards Khyber Agency.
There were unconfirmed reports that around 15 attackers were also gunned down, but no bodies were recovered as those wounded or killed were apparently taken away by the militants. An official said the policemen and soldiers of the Frontier Constabulary were alert on the Manzoor Shaheed Post in Sarband Mera, not far from the boundary that separates Peshawar from Khyber Agency, when the post was stormed.
The attackers fired rockets at the post and then opened indiscriminate fire, killing Constable Zahid Almas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police and Laiq Ali of the FC. One of those killed was an expert at sniper firing.
Three commandoes of the Elite Force including Asif Ali Shah, Tariq Ali and Fazle Rahim as well as two FC men Shahid and Rahim Shah were injured in the attack.
Policeman Tariq, who was among the wounded, told reporters that they were performing duty at the post when militants attacked the building from four sides. He said the militants first fired a rocket at the newly established post and then opened fire. He said two of their colleagues were killed and five others injured in the attack. He said the cops and FC men, however, continued exchange of fire with militants for three hours after which the attackers were forced to flee towards the tribal area.
The funeral prayers for slain Constable Zahid Almas was offered at the Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines, Peshawar where a contingent of the police presented salute to the fallen cop.
Governor Syed Masood Kausar, provincial police chief Fiaz Ahmad Toru, Additional IGP and Commandant of Elite Force Abdul Majeed Khan Marwat, Capital City Police Officer Liaqat Ali, Deputy Commandant Elite Force Muhammad Iqbal Khan and others attended the funeral prayers.
The governor paid tribute to the slain and injured officials. “The nation is proud of the officials who are performing duty in such a turbulent situation,” he added. The militants also blew up two power pylons in Sarband village, suspending power supply to most parts of the provincial capital and surrounding areas. The media officer of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company said work was underway to restore the power supply after two electricity towers were damaged in the Sarband explosion.